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Kim Wins Frosh President by Two; Other Races Close

By Dan McGuire
Staff reporter

Jin S. Kim '99 was narrowly elected freshman class president following four days of Athena-based voting last week.

Kim won by 2 first-choice votes in the preferential elections, beating out 10 contenders. The vice presidential and social chair elections were similarly close.

The other victors were:Pooja Shukla '99 for vice president, Sabina W. Ma '99 for treasurer, Nina S. Ma '99 for secretary, Andrew R. Bankert '99 and Katherine Spade '99 for social chair, and Orli G.Bahcall '99 and Alicia Mendez '99 for publicity chair.

The turnout for the elections rose to 36.5 percent, slightly higher than last year's 35 percent.

Athena-based voting was not expected to increase participation, said Undergraduate Association Treasurer Russell S. Light '98.

"In general people don't get excited about the freshman election because they don't know most of the candidates,"Light said.

Many of the races were very close, "so there will be some disappointments" said UA Council Floor Leader Ashwin Viswanathan '98.

Close seconds in elections

The rankings after the first round of the preferential voting system, based on the number of first-place votes a candidate received, gave Kim 68 votes, or 17 percent, of the 396 votes cast. That put her just two votes ahead of her closest challenger, Charles K. Howard '99.

Shukla received 79 of the 359 first-place votes for the office of vice president, putting her 7 votes ahead of John N. Dukellis '99.

Viswanathan attributed the closeness of the presidential and vice presidential elections to the large number of candidates fielded. Along with the eleven candidates running for president, five ran for vice president and two for treasurer.

In another close election, one vote separated the teams competing for social chair. Bankert/Spade won with 161 votes.

Kim, who was active in her high school government and was the president of her school's National Business Leaders of America chapter, said that she will deal with issues this year "one by one".

"I'll make [my policy] as things come to me," she said. "I talked to upperclassmen and freshmen and the consensus was that we hadn't been here long enough to know what we have to do."

Kim is considering a "class carnival where we can raise money for the community" and allow members of the freshman class to get to know one another.

"Some of the other candidates who weren't elected have already e-mailed me wanting to know they can do to help," she said.